Exclusive: Carrie Underwood Talks to RB About Being a Human Barbie
We sat down with one of the current queens of country, Carrie Underwood, to talk self esteem, concert beauty, and how she gets her lashes so lush.
Real Beauty: You're working with Olay right now on the Beauty by Example campaign to honor the impact mothers have in our lives. Has your own mom been a beauty icon for you?
Carrie Underwood: My mom is gorgeous on the inside and out. She's a hard worker and that person you always want to be. I know people think, "Oh my gosh, I'm turning into my mother!" but it's so exciting to see her in me.
RB: Any makeup or skincare lessons you credit to her?
CU: My mom was all about lotion and hydrating and drinking lots of water. She always says she wishes she had worn more sunscreen when she was younger, because back in the day, I guess they didn't know as much about the dangers of the sun as we do now. That's definitely something where she didn't lead by example, but is telling me the lessons she's learned.
RB: Sometimes self-esteem is about recognizing the little things you love about yourself that aren't so obvious. Is there anything tiny you really like about your body?
CU: I like my teeth! They were pretty bad once upon a time, but I had braces and endured some pain to get them straightened up.
RB: Imagine you had to pick between big hair, big lips, or big lashes. What would you do?
CU: I already have big hair, and I think if I had fuller lips they wouldn't fit my face. I wish my lashes were a bit biggerI'm always gluing them on.
RB: So do you do falsies or do you have a really great mascara?
CU: I have pretty decent lashes on my own, but we do the strips.
RB: Can you do them on your own?
CU: I do my own hair and makeup for touring, so I got really handy. I could never do them before thatI'd always get one side glued down and the other would come up. There was glue everywhere! Once you keep going, you get a lot better.
RB: Your new album is coming out really soon. How long after that will you get back on the touring circuit?
CU: Right away there will be a lot of promotional stuff, like TV shows and special performances and appearances. But my husband's off in the summer so that season is really near and dear to me. It's the only time he's not working since hockey season is so crazy. He's usually traveling around and always busy, so I moved my schedule around a little, and I'm not going to tour until the fall. Otherwise, I wouldn't see him until next summer! It was like, "See ya in 2013, babe! Love ya!". [Editor's note: Carrie's husband is Nashville Predators player Mike Fisher.]
RB: When you tour, do you still do your own hair and makeup?
CU: Yep! Being onstage is different than being on camera because it's okay to pile it on. You need to because when you're under the stage lights, it can really wash everything out, and you just disappear. I do it because it doesn't have to be as perfect as it does for a TV appearance. It's nice to have that time, too. It's just me, and it's quiet, and I'm in the back of my bus curling my hair and putting on makeup. It's the calm before the storm.
RB: We've been quizzing a lot of Olympic athletes lately about how makeup fits into their cardio-intense day jobs. Do you have to alter your makeup for the stage since you're expanding a lot of energy up there?
CU: Not too much. The first step is to have a decent base and be really moisturized. I recently learned through Olay that stage lights are giving off the same sort of UV rays as the sunthey can tan me! It's nuts! Using Olay Complete Sunscreen under my makeup is step number one, and after that I look for a good foundation. On a daily basis I don't wear it, but when I'm onstage I need something thicker that covers more since the lighting's so harsh.
RB: Do you get really hot and sweaty when you're performing, though?
CU: I'm not a big sweater, which is good, but I change my outfits anyway so it's like getting a fresh pair of clothes. I know a couple of guys that literally have to go off-stage where they have another shirt identical to the one they're wearing and change. I'm not going to name names or anything, though
RB: How many wardrobe changes do you normally do?
CU: Well, normally one outfit does more than one thing. So if I have a big skirt I can take the skirt off and have something like cute pants on underneath. I'll go under the stage and change three or four times usually.
RB: Is there an entire team of helpers down there?
CU: There's always two people and myself, and we're all taking stuff off, putting stuff on. Most tour wardrobes are designed to get out of quickly. You might see buttons on the outside, but there are snaps underneath.
RB: What's the fastest change you've ever done?
CU: At the CMAs a couple of years ago I performed the opening number and was hosting with Brad Paisley so I had about 40 seconds. It was head-to-toe, change outfit, change shoes, change jewelry. We made it for the live thing, but we never got it in rehearsals.
RB: You live down south where it's super humid. How does your beauty routine change for the summer?
CU: Things are a little more light, and I don't go as heavy with eye makeup or mascara. When I think of summer, I think of swimsuits and hanging out with friends outside. You definitely don't want anything melting off of you. Sunscreen is important, too, and all over your body, not just your face.
RB: When you're off-hours are you still a glamour girl or do you go more casual?
CU: When I'm not working I don't dress up. I live in sweatpants because I feel like I have to dress up so much. It's exhausting! But my hair and makeup are always done because I don't want to walk by a mirror and think, "Oh man, I didn't even try today." It makes a difference, even if you're just running to the grocery store. People are looking a little bit more closely at me, so I don't want them to be like, "I saw Carrie Underwood at the grocery store today, and she was gross!" I want them to think I was in my sweatpants, but still looked cute.
RB: So you're not really a ponytail girl?
CU: No, I definitely try to make an effort. And besides, ponytails give me headaches! I can handle it for a few hours, but then you have that dent in your hair.
RB: Right after you got married you spoke about the difficulties of merging Mike's stuff with yours. Have you guys gotten better?
CU: We have. We recently purchased some land nearby, and hopefully we'll start building soon and that will be ours. I feel like when one person moves into the other's space, it feels like it's always that person's house. Like if I'd moved to Canada, it would have definitely been his house. I think it's going to be really wonderful when we decide where things go, and how the bedrooms are laid-out. We'll pick the furniture, and it'll be ours. The bathroom situation isn't so bad because I have one set of sinks and he has his. The closet space is worse! He has a lot of suits for hockey, and they're big! Plus, he has a lot of shoes and so do I.
RB: What do you think is the biggest difference between southern beauty and what you see in New York or L.A.?
CU: It's just about a little more down south. We have more fun with it, and we don't take it so seriously. If you want to wear hot pink lips, go for it! Especially for me onstage, I feel like I can do all kinds of things. I can have purple eye shadow that's sparkly and crazy, and I can get away with it because I sing country music.
RB: Were you really into makeup when you were younger?
CU: I had teenage sisters growing up, so I was constantly in my mom's and their makeup bags, and definitely not at their request. There are multiple pictures of me as a little kid, like 3- or 4-years-old, where I'd gotten into stuff, and there was mascara everywhere. They asked for it because they dressed me up and put makeup on me. I was a human Barbie doll!